Larch Forest Cutting

This larch forest has been mine for less than a year and needs work in several areas: 1) pot selection, 2) positioning of trunks, 3) secondary branch structure. All of this year’s cutting will be done with branch development in mind. Keep in mind that larch are best appreciated in the winter, like most deciduous trees.

The issues with the branch structure can be seen below. I think this larch was over-pinched i.e. new growth was completely removed resulting in stubby looking branches with very little secondary branching. This gives the branches an awkward look and leaves very little to build pads from.

Pinching is useful on larch but more so for refined trees. This forest is still early in its development. Many branches on the tree need to be much longer, especially those on the outside of the forest, and in the upper areas of the tallest trunks. Pinching is counter-productive to this development.

    Winter image showing branch structure that leaves much to be desired.

Winter image showing branch structure that leaves much to be desired.

To attempt to remedy this, I have let the new growth extend into the late spring.

    Letting the tree grow a bit in spring leaves us something to work with. Care must be taken not to let this growth get too strong, or the branches will thicken excessively. This tree was not fertilized in the spring, but was fertilized in the week leading up to this cutting session.

Letting the tree grow a bit in spring leaves us something to work with. Care must be taken not to let this growth get too strong, or the branches will thicken excessively. This tree was not fertilized in the spring, but was fertilized in the week leading up to this cutting session.

Instead of pinching it all off indiscriminately, I nipped back the growing tips with scissors to slow their extension and leave something that can be wired in late winter 2014. In general, strong shoots were cut back more than weak shoots. Further detailed cutting will be left for the winter when the tree is bare.

    A branch after cutting. New growth is not removed completely, but is instead shortened to reduce vigour and promote back budding. These new shoots will be wired next spring.

A branch after cutting. New growth is not removed completely, but is instead shortened to reduce vigour and promote back budding. These new shoots will be wired next spring.

 

After cutting. This process will probably have to be repeated once more this season. Most branches have already developed another tier of ramification which would have been lost if the new growth was all pinched off.

After cutting. This process will probably have to be repeated once more this season. Most branches have already developed another tier of ramification which would have been lost if the new growth was all pinched off.

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